Camp Pendleton's commanding officer said he is displeased with the "incorrect and deeply hurtful" comments made about a Marine sergeant who was fatally shot by an Orange County sheriff's deputy in a dark high school parking lot.
"While I am confident they will do the right thing in the end, I am less than satisfied with the official response from the city of San Clemente and Orange County," Col. Nicholas Marano said in a written statement Thursday.
"Many of the statements made concerning Manny Loggins' character over the past few days are incorrect and deeply hurtful to an already grieving family," he added.
The union representing Orange County sheriff's deputies issued a statement this week saying that Sgt. Manuel Loggins contributed to his own death. He was shot during the predawn hours Feb. 7 by a deputy in the parking lot of San Clemente High School after allegedly yelling "irrational statements," the union said.
Loggins' daughters, ages 9 and 14, were seated in his car when he was shot. Orange County authorities said the deputy who shot the Marine felt the girls' lives were in danger.
"The Manuel Loggins described by his friends and loved ones in the media is not the Manuel Loggins encountered by our deputies the morning of Feb. 7, nor as described by the children to the deputies at the scene before he returned to the [GMC] Yukon," Tom Dominguez, president of the Assn. of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, said in the statement.
"It is unfortunate," Dominguez said, "that his actions put his own children into immediate danger and resulted in his death."
Late Thursday, the union issued a statement saying it did not intend to malign Loggins' character.
"We issued the facts, not a commentary on the character of any individual in this case," Dominguez said.
Loggins has been described by friends and fellow Marines as a deeply religious man and someone who respected authority and followed rules.
The shooting is being investigated by the Orange County district attorney. The name of the deputy who fired the fatal shot has not been released, though he has been described as a former Marine.